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Friday, May 9, 2014

mechanics bank

An article in the News Journal today features the renovation of the buildings along South Main Street in Mansfield by Mechanics Bank.  Not mentioned in the article, but an important aspect of how this renovation was planned, is the fact that the buildings are in the Central Park Historic District and had to pass muster through the design review process before the Historic Preservation Commission. 

"Much of the building’s original structure has been kept intact, including red brick walls and sweeping archways. Modern touches have been added, including an indoor brick walkway named 'The Mechanics Way,' which is complete with lampposts, a storefront and decorative ceiling. The brick walkway leads to the courtyard."

This marks a change in direction for Mechanics from previous expansions and updating of its downtown headquarters.  Former expansions into the adjacent building westward on Park Avenue and south on Main Street into the former Smart's music store building involved near featureless cladding of the storefronts with pink marble, a practice that would not have gained approval under the design guidelines now in place since 2003. 

The News Journal website has a gallery of pictures from yesterday's open house (link above) if you can get past the pay wall and tolerate the advertising.  Here are a few pictures from my files of the way it used to be.

c. 2005

16 S Main 2003


Little Journeys Bookshop 16 S. Main

Renovation at Uncle John's, next door in 2011.

c. 1900

Bowland Mansion, where Mechanics Bank now stands.

Fox Hunt

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